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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 13, 2020

National survey on delta checks in clinical laboratories in China

  • Shukang He , Fengfeng Kang , Wei Wang , Bingquan Chen and Zhiguo Wang EMAIL logo



This study aimed to understand the status quo of delta checks in Chinese clinical laboratories through a nationwide online survey.


The survey was divided into two parts. The first part was a general situation survey in which clinical laboratories had to provide information about the laboratories, including delta checks used. In the second part, clinical laboratories were asked to record the delta check alerts generated in their laboratories from June 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2019.


The most frequently used analytes in delta checks were potassium (K), glucose (Glu), creatinine (Cre) for clinical chemistry and hemoglobin (Hgb), platelet (PLT) count and white blood cell (WBC) count for clinical hematology. The median maximum time interval between specimens for all analytes was 5 days. The most commonly used delta check calculation modes in Chinese clinical laboratories were percentage change and absolute change. K and Hgb were the analytes most involved in clinical chemistry and clinical hematology delta check alerts. The most common causes of delta check alerts were that the patients had received treatment, which was followed by the change in the patient’s physiological state and interference from hemolysis, lipemia and icterus. The two most common outcomes of delta check alerts were ‘no problems found, standard report issued’ and ‘no problems found, report issued with comment’.


This study was the first nationwide survey of delta checks in China, the results of which help us to understand the current situation of delta checks in Chinese clinical laboratories.

Corresponding author: Prof. Zhiguo Wang, National Center for Clinical Laboratories, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology; Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 1, Dahua Road, Dongdan, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730, P.R. China; and Graduate School of Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China, Tel.: +86-010-58115054, Fax: +86-010-65273025


We would like to extend our gratitude to the clinical laboratories in China that have taken part in our study and provided the relevant data that we needed. We are also deeply indebted to all the technical staff of the Clinet website ( for the technical support they provided.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: 1. National Natural Science Foundation of China (Funder Id: 501100001809, Grant No. 81871737). 2. Zhejiang Provincial Project for Medical and Health Science and Technology (Grant No. 2018KY009).

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2019-10-10
Accepted: 2019-11-17
Published Online: 2020-01-13
Published in Print: 2020-03-26

©2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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